A TEXT POST

It’s been a while……

So, it has been a few months since my last post. I had fallen off the Paleo wagon during my trip to North Carolina. It was expected or maybe even planned but I made it through most of the trip until we all got sick! My little boy had it first - the flu, in fact he had a cold most of the trip - then I got it the day before we had to fly home. We ended up extending our trip another week. Needless to say we spent most of March in North Carolina. Other than the sickness we had a wonderful trip.

During the trip I was feeling very dizzy and weak - I wasn’t sure if this was from the diet (I had read that you can go through “withdrawal” - but 2 months in??) or lack of sleep ( I spent many nights up much later than usual watching - Ugh Im so embarrassed to say - I stayed up way past my bedtime watching Dallas - ok I admitted it ). I started giving the diet a lot of thought and I think I was not understanding the point of why I choose this diet. I was not thinking about the food as a whole - what it was, why I needed it and what it was doing to my body. The reason I choose to do the Paleo diet was because I wanted to put better foods into my body. Foods that would nourish and support me. After 60 days I did not feel better in fact I felt worse. I realized my body didn’t respond well to higher fat diets and I need more carbs to fuel my day than I was giving myself. 

Its been a week now since I have been back on board - I have been putting better thought into what I am eating and why I am eating it. I am back down the 6 pounds I had lost having the flu then put on once I was over the flu. I have realized potatoes (any and all kinds!) need to be in my diet - the complex carb provides sustained energy throughout the day (which I need with an 18 month old who needs very little sleep ). I have also added in Raw cheese on occasion (just because it is DELICIOUS!!) Throw in a few corn tortillas if there is tacos around and I will not pass up a delicious bowl of lentil soup. I realize it is not strict paleo but I need to do what makes me feel amazing! 

This was in the airport on our way to N.C.!

I try to plan my meals all paleo but sometimes you end up with something so amazing that adding some raw cheese is like the icing on the cake!! What is a word for better that delicious? I don’t know, but that is what this was!! Last night i tried my had at making zucchini lasagna - before I go any further it was pretty much the best thing I have made in a while. I was so excited about putting this creation together i didn’t bother to look up any other recipes for direction. With that said, it was defiantly a presentation fail :(

This was todays lunch - Leftovers!! My favorite!

Beefy (and cheesy) Zucchini Lasagna

3 medium sized zucchini (organic if possible)

1 lb. grass fed beef

1 16 oz can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted would be delicious too!)

A few sprigs of fresh basil

2 cups spinach (organic if possible)

2 garlic cloves (organic if possible)

1 medium yellow onion (organic if possible)

4 ounces raw cheddar cheese

4 tablespoons of MY PALEO PESTO (i will include the recipe below)

2 TBSP olive oil

1. In a small sauce pan add olive oil over medium heat. Once warm add 1 clove chopped garlic. Stir until fragrant. Add in the can of crushed tomatoes along with julienned basil. Let this simmer as long as you like! Also, add salt and pepper to taste as you go!

(Adding a splash of red wine at the end before you assemble the masterpiece will add to the sauce - This was my grandmas trick!)

2. Slice your zucchini - I sliced mine round because I am terrified  of my mandolin! But slice them up how ever you like - about 1/4 inch think. 

This is the most important step (This is the step I forgot!!) Lightly salt your zucchini to take out most of the water - this will keep your lasagna from getting to soupy!

Let the zucchini sit while you dice up your onion and begin browning your ground beef. 

3. Brown your ground beef with the 2nd minced garlic clove. Once your beef is about done add in the onion and spinach, Cook until the onion begins to be come translucent and the spinach is wilted. 

4. Use paper towel to remove the water from the zucchini. You want to soak up as much water as you can - and also some of the salt too. 

5. Once your beef is browned you can begin layering your dish! I used an 8x8 pyrex dish. 

sauce - zucchini - beef mixture - cheese - sauce - zucchini - pesto - beef mixture - cheese - sauce - cheese

I would suggest refrigerating it for a few hours but if you don’t have the time pop it into the oven!

375 degrees for 45 minutes covered - 15 minutes uncovered

Let it set up for about 15 minutes ounce out of the oven!

Enjoy!!!

My Paleo Pesto

I have been making pesto about once a week for a few weeks now. I love it and so does my son!

I usually add 1 bunch of basil, 1 garlic clove, 4 cups spinach, salt & pepper to taste, 1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds (you can use any seed or nut), & 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup olive oil - then each time I add something different - artichoke hearts, cheese, cilantro, etc. 

Pesto is amazing - I tend to keep mine a little thick - Parker likes to eat it by the spoonful. You can also add a few teaspoons of vinegar to a few tablespoons of pesto and have an amazing dressing!!

I hope you love it!

LC

A TEXT POST
I am so excited! My son, Parker, and I will be heading out tomorrow on a 2 week vacation to North Carolina! We are headed to NC to visit my brothers family. He has 2 young kids, 2 and 3 years old. They have not seen my little boy since he was 6 months old! I can’t wait for them to play and have a great time! I have spent the past week getting prepared for the trip. Our total travel time tomorrow is 14 hours - WOWZERS! Its going to be a doozie of a day but it will be well worth it!
Last friday I shipped off 2 large boxes of food - ok stop. I know you are thinking - FOOD?!?!?!? They don’t have food in North Carolina?!?!?!? Yes but as many of you know Trader Joes is amazing and really you can’t beat the prices. So I did a little online comparative shopping and found it was cheaper to ship the food I needed than purchase it there. 
My boxes contained:
Tons of coconut milk!
Dark chocolate chips and a few dark chocolate bars - for pancakes and stuff :)
Coconut Flour
Almond Flour
Almond Butter
SunButter (Who can live without Sunbutter?!?!?)
2 Large tubs of Protein powder
and of course a few surprise gifts for the kids!
I also have given some thought to what am I going to eat along the journey - Parker is easy and he loves anything portable. I have already tossed a few Larabars in my bag along with some squeezable applesauce’s. Today I will mix up a batch on trail mix from what I have on hand. 
Raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, sprouted sunflower seeds (Parkers fav!), walnuts, dried apricots, and what is left of our rasins!
I also mixed up a batch of Protein Carrot Cake! (YUM!!) I put them in muffin wrappers to make them easier to travel with! AMAZING!

Makes 8 muffins 

4 small carrots

1/3 c. almond butter (or butter of choice)

1/3 c. applesauce (I used carrot applesauce)

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp. raw honey

1 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

2 eggs

30 grams (2 small scoops) of protein powder (I use Designs For Health PurePea vanilla)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grate carrots - use the finer side of the grater but not the finest!

Combine the rest of the ingredients.

I topped my muffins with raw pumpkin seeds but mixing in raisins, bits of dark chocolate or nuts would be fantastic too!

Separate into 8 muffin tins. I used liners but you don’t have to. I suggest greasing the pan with coconut oil if you are not using liners. 

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes - until toothpick comes out clean. 

These little cakes are really moist and delicious! 

And about 15 seconds later it was gone! Amazing!! I am looking forward to tomorrow just a little bit more knowing these little nuggets of greatness will be stowed in my handbag!

On anther note - Yesterday my husband and I took a trip to the mall - I bought a new lipstick. I don’t usually wear lipstick but I think I now love it. My husband is the sweetest guy :)

A QUOTE

The nutritional value of food defines what a food is made of and its’ impact on the body. Because of disease and weight control, it’s particularly important to understand the nutritional value of food due to the impact on the body as it relates to cholesterol, fat, salt, and sugar intake. The food label is the primary tool enabling consumers to understand nutritional values in order to make informed decisions about consumption.

A TEXT POST

OMG - More Soup Please!

SO - it’s no secret that PaleOMG food blogger Juli has the best recipes - or maybe it is - and if that’s the case go check out  her website http://paleomg.com  now! (or after you read this!) I am obsessed with her blog! She has so many amazing recipes I can’t get over it. I basically plan my shopping list off of what incredible things she has made. In fact she just had a cookbook come out (I am waiting for mine to arrive as we speak) - you can order a copy for yourself here http://amzn.to/1fMutu2

So, this week I made her Chicken tortilla soup - AMAZING! I make soup in our house about once a week, I love to eat it for lunch! I saw this recipe and thought I would give it a try. I omitted the poblano pepper (just because I didn’t have one) and use one 15oz can of fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies in place of the cans of each. It was SPICY! If you rather have a more mild soup I would use regular diced tomatoes, leave out the jalapeño pepper, and use chili powder in place of the cayenne in the rub for the chicken.

Here is the link to this to-die-for Chicken Tortilla Soup

http://paleomg.com/chicken-tortilla-soup/

Here is the recipe by Juli @ PaleOMG

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
For your chicken
  • 3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2.5lbs worth)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
For your soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (14oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 32 oz fluid chicken stock (I used low sodium, no sugar added)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • chopped cilantro, to garnish
  • crushed plantain chips, to garnish
  • sliced avocado, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place chicken on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pour on some olive oil and then sprinkle with cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts). Once your chicken is done baking, use two fork to shred the chicken.
  4. While your chicken is baking, get your soup ready. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat then add your minced garlic.
  5. Add onions, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and poblano pepper. Mix around to help coat.
  6. Once your onions begin to become translucent, pour in your green chiles and diced fire roasted tomatoes, along with the rest of your spices. Mix together.
  7. Then add your shredded chicken and chicken stock to the pot.
  8. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  9. When your soup has simmered, add in your lime juice and a bit more salt and pepper.
  10. Add your soup to a bowl along with avocado, cilantro, and plantain chips.
  11. Stay warm. Being cold is stupid.

 On a side note - I had bought to many Jalapeños at the store and gave a whirl at making pickled jalapeños (which my husband loves!!!) - They are too hot for me but he says they are amazing!

They are so simple to make -

Jalapeños - sliced (I used only 3 to fill this tiny jar)

1/2 c. filtered water

1/2 c. Distilled Vinegar 

1 TBSP Sugar

1 TBSP Salt

1 Clove of garlic - smashed

Boil all of the ingredients together. Once the sugar and salt have dissolved remove from heat and pop in your jalapeños. Give it about 10 - 15 minutes and they will turn from bright green to the color you expect a pickled jalapeño to be! (At this step I placed a glass measuring cup to get all of them submerged in the liquid) Once the have set for 10 - 15 minutes transfer to jar add liquid to fill and put in the fridge.

Ta-Da pickled jalapeños! Now go impress your friends with these amazing spicy treats!

LC

 

A TEXT POST

It’s okay to eat almond butter from the jar, Right?!?!?! As long as you use a little spoon, Right?!?!?!? I love it - it is one thing I have to use restraint to keep from eating. 

I have now been on this Paleo kick (more like a lifestyle change) for about 45 days now. I love it!! I can’t get over how great I feel (except for the week I ate to many baked goods - it was just a reminder that everything in moderation!). 
I guess I should also say I am not a Dr., Dietician or Nutrition Consultant. I am a mom of 1 who loves to cook, eat and feel amazing. I am excited to take this journey of sharing all the amazing (and maybe not so amazing) Paleo foods that pass thru my kitchen! I hope I can give some of you dinner ideas, meal on the go ideas, or impress your friends ideas. Many people frown at the idea of no dairy or grains but I can say that over the last month and a half not a single person has left my dinner table unsatisfied (except for when I over cooked the chicken - just that one time - wink, wink).
I will leave you with this - today I had pancakes for breakfast. My favorite Pancakes! Here’s the recipe - It’s so simple!
1 Egg
1 Banana
1 Tbsp Raw Almond Butter
a splash of vanilla
mix all your ingredients until combined. Heat griddle. Add Coconut oil and spoon on just like regular pancakes. Cook them slow. They will not bubble like normal pancakes but you will know when they are ready. Flip! Finish cooking and enjoy! Everyone loves them in my house - Even my Husband!
LC